Obama Admin Using Bernie Madoff Accounting Pyramid Scheme

Coming from the NY Times, this actually surprises me.  This is a bit off the reservation for them.  I understand that the White House was none too pleased about it either.  Seems that the truth can be a bit embarrassing sometimes.

As bad as this article may sound, it still sugar coats the truth.  We are in a financial dungeon, and right now China holds the keys to our cell.  If that rotting carcass of a health care bill passes, or some form of the cap-and-tax or other climate change bill passes, then China will throw away the key.  Our debt and currency will be worthless and unmarketable.

Yet the socialist/communist democrats just want to continue spending as if money grows on trees.  Money may be made from trees, but the value behind it is much more difficult to come by.  The democrats are doing a smashing job (pun intended) of destroying that as well.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/23/business/23rates.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print

November 23, 2009
Payback Time

Wave of Debt Payments Facing U.S. Government

WASHINGTON — The United States government is financing its more than trillion-dollar-a-year borrowing with i.o.u.’s on terms that seem too good to be true.

But that happy situation, aided by ultralow interest rates, may not last much longer.

Treasury officials now face a trifecta of headaches: a mountain of new debt, a balloon of short-term borrowings that come due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are sure to climb back to normal as soon as the Federal Reserve decides that the emergency has passed.

Even as Treasury officials are racing to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages.  (This is why you don’t let liberals be in charge of anything.  They think that the reason they failed is because we just didn’t let them implement enough of their liberal madness.)

With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.

In concrete terms, an additional $500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The potential for rapidly escalating interest payouts is just one of the wrenching challenges facing the United States after decades of living beyond its means.

The surge in borrowing over the last year or two is widely judged to have been a necessary response to the financial crisis and the deep recession, and there is still a raging debate over how aggressively to bring down deficits over the next few years. But there is little doubt that the United States’ long-term budget crisis is becoming too big to postpone.  (Wrong.  It wasn’t necessary.  If I have 3 maxed out credit cards and can’t pay the bills, I don’t go get another credit card to make those payments.  That is exactly what our government is doing.  Overlooking the fact that the democrats BEFORE George Bush set the stage for the housing crash back during the Clinton administration, had we let the bad institutions (and auto companies) fail, there would have been an immediate recession.  However, now that we have dug our financial hole deeper than our ladder is high and are continuing to dig, we are headed for a depression that will make the 1930’s look like a party.  There is no such thing as a pain-free life.  The more you run from the consequences of your actions, the larger those consequences become.)

Americans now have to climb out of two deep holes: as debt-loaded consumers, whose personal wealth sank along with housing and stock prices; and as taxpayers, whose government debt has almost doubled in the last two years alone, just as costs tied to benefits for retiring baby boomers are set to explode.

The competing demands could deepen political battles over the size and role of the government, the trade-offs between taxes and spending, the choices between helping older generations versus younger ones, and the bottom-line questions about who should ultimately shoulder the burden.

“The government is on teaser rates,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that advocates lower deficits. “We’re taking out a huge mortgage right now, but we won’t feel the pain until later.”  (That’s what the democrats are banking on.  They hope they will be long gone by the time the pain hits.)

So far, the demand for Treasury securities from investors and other governments around the world has remained strong enough to hold down the interest rates that the United States must offer to sell them. Indeed, the government paid less interest on its debt this year than in 2008, even though it added almost $2 trillion in debt.

The government’s average interest rate on new borrowing last year fell below 1 percent. For short-term i.o.u.’s like one-month Treasury bills, its average rate was only sixteen-hundredths of a percent.  (Returns that low are why they can’t sell the long term bonds.  If you buy them and rates go up, you lose.)

“All of the auction results have been solid,” said Matthew Rutherford, the Treasury’s deputy assistant secretary in charge of finance operations. “Investor demand has been very broad, and it’s been increasing in the last couple of years.”

The problem, many analysts say, is that record government deficits have arrived just as the long-feared explosion begins in spending on benefits under Medicare and Social Security. The nation’s oldest baby boomers are approaching 65, setting off what experts have warned for years will be a fiscal nightmare for the government.  (The liberals robbed the so-called Social Security “lock box” a long time ago.  The program began with more than 60 people paying taxes for each SS recipient.  Now that is down to about 4-to-1.  Pretty soon, taxpayers will just have to let a SS recipient just move in with them.  It’s past time for SS to go away.)

“What a good country or a good squirrel should be doing is stashing away nuts for the winter,” said William H. Gross, managing director of the Pimco Group, the giant bond-management firm. “The United States is not only not saving nuts, it’s eating the ones left over from the last winter.”

The current low rates on the country’s debt were caused by temporary factors that are already beginning to fade. One factor was the economic crisis itself, which caused panicked investors around the world to plow their money into the comparative safety of Treasury bills and notes. Even though the United States was the epicenter of the global crisis, investors viewed Treasury securities as the least dangerous place to park their money.

On top of that, the Fed used almost every tool in its arsenal to push interest rates down even further. It cut the overnight federal funds rate, the rate at which banks lend reserves to one another, to almost zero. And to reduce longer-term rates, it bought more than $1.5 trillion worth of Treasury bonds and government-guaranteed securities linked to mortgages.  (The government buying its own debt.  Remember that credit card shell game I spoke of earlier?)

Those conditions are already beginning to change. Global investors are shifting money into riskier investments like stocks and corporate bonds, and they have been pouring money into fast-growing countries like Brazil and China.

The Fed, meanwhile, is already halting its efforts at tamping down long-term interest rates. Fed officials ended their $300 billion program to buy up Treasury bonds last month, and they have announced plans to stop buying mortgage-backed securities by the end of next March.

Eventually, though probably not until at least mid-2010, the Fed will also start raising its benchmark interest rate back to more historically normal levels.

The United States will not be the only government competing to refinance huge debt. Japan, Germany, Britain and other industrialized countries have even higher government debt loads, measured as a share of their gross domestic product, and they too borrowed heavily to combat the financial crisis and economic downturn. As the global economy recovers and businesses raise capital to finance their growth, all that new government debt is likely to put more upward pressure on interest rates.

Even a small increase in interest rates has a big impact. An increase of one percentage point in the Treasury’s average cost of borrowing would cost American taxpayers an extra $80 billion this year — about equal to the combined budgets of the Department of Energy and the Department of Education.

But that could seem like a relatively modest pinch. Alan Levenson, chief economist at T. Rowe Price, estimated that the Treasury’s tab for debt service this year would have been $221 billion higher if it had faced the same interest rates as it did last year.

The White House estimates that the government will have to borrow about $3.5 trillion more over the next three years. On top of that, the Treasury has to refinance, or roll over, a huge amount of short-term debt that was issued during the financial crisis. Treasury officials estimate that about 36 percent of the government’s marketable debt — about $1.6 trillion — is coming due in the months ahead.  (What happens if China decides not to buy?  Economic collapse.)

To lock in low interest rates in the years ahead, Treasury officials are trying to replace one-month and three-month bills with 10-year and 30-year Treasury securities. That strategy will save taxpayers money in the long run. But it pushes up costs drastically in the short run, because interest rates are higher for long-term debt.

Adding to the pressure, the Fed is set to begin reversing some of the policies it has been using to prop up the economy. Wall Street firms advising the Treasury recently estimated that the Fed’s purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities pushed down long-term interest rates by about one-half of a percentage point. Removing that support could in itself add $40 billion to the government’s annual tab for debt service.

This month, the Treasury Department’s private-sector advisory committee on debt management warned of the risks ahead.

“Inflation, higher interest rate and rollover risk should be the primary concerns,” declared the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, a group of market experts that provide guidance to the government, on Nov. 4.

“Clever debt management strategy,” the group said, “can’t completely substitute for prudent fiscal policy.”  (No kidding.  It’s called “don’t spend more than you have.  The turds floating in the punch bowl of Washington, D.C. have forgotten that it’s not Monopoly money they’re spending, it’s OUR money.  But most of them never had to earn an honest day’s wage in their lives, so how should we expect them to understand?)

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2 Responses

  1. If you are Texpat, this is my reply to your last post on Lone Star Times…

    Texpat:
    Unlike you I can not claim to be a 5th generation Texan–unfortunately I am only a first…However, my roots in this country go back to either 1617 (when Elizabeth Clements Fuller arrived at Jamestown) or 1634 (when my ancestor, Thomas Greene, arrived on the Ark and the Dove at what became St. Mary’s, Maryland. Greene was the 2nd and 4th proprietary governor of the Colony.
    (I might note that Greene and company came here to escape persecution for their religious beliefs by the English–they were Catholics. They acted upon their beliefs by enacting the first Act outlawing Religious discrimination in the New World, but, as could be expected, it was repealed and they were persecuted again after the Proprietary Government was overthrown during the English Civil War.)
    Like yours my ancestors have fought in every American war–from squabbles with the Indians along the Chesapeake in the 1640s, thru the French & Indian War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War and so forth (except the last two in Iraq)…
    I am qualified for membership in groups ranging from the Ark & the Dove Foundation, thru the Sons of the American Revolution and the various Confederate groups…. (My great-grandfather served in the 2nd Virginia Cavalry, Stuart’s 1st Horse Artillery and the First Regiment of Maryland Calvary, CSA, respectively. His family also owned slaves and probably had since the use of “indentured servants” ended in the 1700s…Which, to me, means that he was on the WRONG SIDE of history. )
    I am also related to probably two signers of the Declaration of Independence and two presidents of the United States (William Henry Harrison and his grandson, Benjamin Harrison) as well as to Jefferson Davis. On my mother’s side I am a cousin of Cardinal McCloskey, the first American Catholic Cardinal. And so forth and so on.
    My parents were “Taft Republicans” in 1952 and I was a born and raised Republican, including membership in the College Republicans long, long ago…Despite being Catholics, my family supported Nixon over Kennedy in 1960….Most of them, but not me, also voted for Goldwater in 1964….
    My parents, again like yours, were also early advocates of racial integration and equality when, just as with your relatives, it was not always socially, politically or otherwise health in Texas to hold those beliefs. (As a Yarborough Family you must remember Gov. Price Daniel and his “Segregation Forever” Special Session of the Legislature in 1957.)
    I have also been active in a number of Republican (and in the last 30 plus years) Democratic political campaigns and worked in and around the Texas Legislature for more than 30 years, including 15 years for the late Bob Bullock both when he was Comptroller of Public Accounts and Lt. Governor. I am also the so-called “Father of the Texas Performance Review” which Bullock had the Legislature create “to turn State Government upside down and shake it” to examine all spending programs and demands on the state budget.
    I am a 4th generation college graduation and have three medical scientists and another doctor in my immediate family.
    All of that, however, does not make me anything special…Just a person who was lucky enough to have his ancestor arrive earlier than most. It does, however, give me a love for history and a special appreciation of the importance of the Bill of Rights and the Rule of Law. In fact, I consider the Bill or Rights (and particularly the 1st Amendment) the single most important document ever adopted in this Country’s history and the one thing that distinguishes us from all other nations. This makes me very, very concerned by the people who talk about making sure that America “is a Christian nation”….and who do not seem to understand that as Jefferson expressed it and as Madison wrote it—the 1st Amendment establishes a “wall between church and state.”
    It also gives me a perspective that allows me to accept (as I said in an earlier post) how important it is that we distinguish “history” from “myth” and that we recognize that what is truly is important about our forefather’s is –“that, despite all their failures and weaknesses, they were able to accomplish great, great things.” Upon which we seem to agree.
    I believed then and still do in “fiscal responsibility” and the importance of a strong national defense ; however, I see “defense” as being more than just the military might—it also includes our economic might and our moral position in the world—which, unfortunately, George W. and Chaney did much to damage.
    On the surface all that might suggest that I should still be a Republican; however, as I tell people who ask, “Richard Nixon made me a Democrat” because of his abuse of the American system, his disregard for the Bill or Rights and his criminal activities. (Don’t tell me “everybody does it’. That is partially true…but few have done it to the level Nixon did.)
    I also found myself unwilling to continue to argue with people who opposed Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and every other program designed to improve the life of the less fortunate of our population. (Plus you may remember that Southern Republicans—like John Tower—opposed the Civil Rights Act just as strongly as did most Southern Democrats—except the same Ralph Yarborough we both admire for his courage.)
    (Unlike you I can not call myself a “Carter Democrat” because, although I wound up voting for him, as a Southern Catholic who had been told one two many times by “good ole Southern Baptists” that I was doomed to hell while living in a small Texas town in the 50s, I was worried about his Southern Baptist background. In addition, the fact that in 76 people like Austin’s own “prophet” Rev. O’Chester with whom I disagreed on virtually everything was actively supporting him.)
    I, like you, do not believe that anyone is “guaranteed” a good life or wealth and luxury or “an equal outcome”. However, I do believe that, if our system is to continue, we must attempt to help every American have an “equal opportunity” to succeed…..Unfortunately, I believe—as you probably do not—that that means that Government must take steps to “level the playing field”. (This is needlesstosay a very summarized statement of my position.)
    I am also aware of the fact that all kinds of groups have “lobbyists” and that all kinds of groups, not just conservatives try to use government to advance their ends. However, unlike you I do not automatically label this bad…Instead they are part and parcel of our form of government and, as I noted in an earlier posting,.” These are some of the competing forces talked about in the Federalist Papers and for whom the system of checks-and-balances, divided government and the deliberate blocks placed into the system to make it harder to adopt major changes” were enacted. (I also long ago developed a “rule” for considering proposed legislation which sets forth “be very, very careful when you have a group that wants to be regulated.”)
    Because I recognize this does not make me a “leftist” as you described me….Instead it makes me a realist.
    So, let’s continue our dialogue but do it on a better understanding of “where each of us is coming from”.

  2. Brian,
    I am all over the web, so I can’t honestly say I remember leaving a comment on the Lone Star Times site. Regardless, I’m glad you stopped by to take part in the Great Debate. We may not always agree, and that’s OK. As I always tell people, “If you disagree with me, don’t hate me, debate me.

    Wow, the post on LST must have really struck a chord. Lots of good stuff in your commentary to discuss. I’ll hit the highlights with some commentary of my own.

    In fact, I consider the Bill or Rights (and particularly the 1st Amendment) the single most important document ever adopted in this Country’s history and the one thing that distinguishes us from all other nations.

    We must also remember that it is the 2nd Amendment which guarantees the 1st. Our founding fathers had seen what would happen when a populace was unable to defend itself against a tyrannical government. In the founding or our country, when they spelled out in the Declaration of Independence “…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”, they knew that this would be impossible unless they had the power to protect themselves not only from external enemies, but from a government gaining too much control over their lives.

    This makes me very, very concerned by the people who talk about making sure that America “is a Christian nation”….and who do not seem to understand that as Jefferson expressed it and as Madison wrote it—the 1st Amendment establishes a “wall between church and state.”

    I will not assert that we are a Christian nation in the sense that some form of Christianity is the official religion or that it is required for citizenship. I will assert that America was founded on a Christian foundation. Many try to deny that, but it is an obvious truth. When a “wall between church and state” is spoken of, the modern (mis)interpretation of that is that there can be no religion or any display of religion in government. Hogwash. It means that the government can’t “establish,” or force you to be part of any one religion, as some countries have done by having an official state religion. Greece with the Orthodox Church is an example. What’s worse is that the modern interpretation of “separation of church and state” is applied in a very anti-Christian way. The “wallers” I’ll call them, attack Christian prayer in school, but provide prayer rooms for muslims. “Wallers” attack nativity scenes or menorahs, but force schools and government offices to display hateful “God is a fag,” or “There is no God” signs and displays. The so called separation of church and state is being used to attack Christianity and Judaism.

    I see “defense” as being more than just the military might—it also includes our economic might and our moral position in the world—which, unfortunately, George W. and Chaney did much to damage.

    Defense and military might? Yes. Defense and economic might? Definitely. Defense and our “moral position” in the world? Now the waters get muddy. Defense is just that. It’s our ability to prevent others from harming us. Economic might directly ties into defense as it allows us to pay for the things necessary to defend ourselves. Our moral position in the world is not tied to defending ourselves. Our interactions with other nations and our reasons for those interactions define our moral position. However, two different people could view the same action in completely different “moral” lights. Was it “moral” to drop the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Some look at the instantaneous loss of life and scream “immoral!” However, when one understands that killing several thousand people with the A-bomb likely saved nearly 2 million lives, it’s not so immoral anymore. One must also consider who started that fight in the first place with their deception in Washington covering their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Many liberals view “might” as wrong. They feel that because we are (were?) wealthy and powerful, or a super-power, that this somehow makes us villains around the world. Were we taking over lands for the purposes of conquest and gain, then that would make us the bad guys. However, this is not the case. We ended two wars in Europe and one in the Pacific with multiple “invasions,” and all we asked for in return was a place to bury our dead. We didn’t enslave anyone. We protected, and still protect most of Europe and Japan (our former enemies) while they run their own lives. As for G.W. Bush and Mr. Cheney, their biggest mistake was not controlling our borders or our spending.

    “Richard Nixon made me a Democrat” because of his abuse of the American system, his disregard for the Bill or Rights and his criminal activities.

    To this I must ask how you feel about Barack Obama. As illustrated in the post I’m linking to here (https://texan2driver.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/obamas-secret-power-grabs/), Obama has done the end-around on every part of the constitution that he has been able to get away with so far. Cut and paste Obama’s actions into the Nixon presidency, and there would have been an execution, not just an impeachment. The progressives have gained a lot of ground since the 1970’s in eroding the foundation of our nation, as evidenced by the weak response to the abuse to our laws and constitution.

    (Don’t tell me “everybody does it’. That is partially true…but few have done it to the level Nixon did.)

    Many do it, and there is no excuse for it. As to the level of corruption and law breaking, again I beg you to compare Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. While Nixon was wrong and deserved punishment, what he did was child’s play compared to what Obama is doing now. Campaign fraud, voter intimidation, breaking or ignoring house/senate rules, on and on.

    I also found myself unwilling to continue to argue with people who opposed Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and every other program designed to improve the life of the less fortunate of our population.

    As is always the case, we were much better off before government took over control of ____ (fill in the blank). Before we had Social Security, yes there were homeless people and people who otherwise needed help, but there were a lot fewer of them. When people kept most of what they earned, they were more charitable. Through local organizations and direct giving, communities helped people by giving them a hand UP, and taking care of those UNABLE to take care of themselves. Now the government takes a dollar away from our community and gives us back 50 cents. How does that help? They have promised all these benefits that they can’t pay for. How does that help (except to buy votes)? In an attempt to pay for the benefits, they raise our taxes to the point we can’t afford to be charitable anymore. How does that help? And to top it all off, there are a WHOLE LOT MORE of the so called “less fortunate” now than there were then. Many are able, but unwilling to work because they can get enough benefits for nothing to make a minimum wage job just too “inconvenient.” Sounds like a success to me.

    Then we move on to Medicare/Medicaid. Supposed to provide insurance and lower health care costs. Hasn’t done either. Before we had Medicare/Medicaid and other government interference in the medical system (as well as other confiscation of my wealth like Social Security and other taxes), I could AFFORD to go to the doctor and pay cash for a visit. If I needed a procedure that was too expensive for me to pay for outright, I worked out a payment plan with the doctor himself. Now because of government interference, forcing doctors and hospitals to provide health care to those who can’t pay for it, they have to pass the cost along to those who can. We’re not just talking legitimate emergency care here. Many illegal aliens and others who can no longer afford insurance or medical bills BECAUSE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION AND INTERFERENCE CAUSED THEM TO SKYROCKET, are using the emergency room for primary care. Those who actually pay their bills get pissed off about paying the tab for those who abuse the system, laws are passed saying that doctors and hospitals can’t pass along the cost, and then the hospitals and doctors simply go out of business. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREE. The border states are the worst hit by this phenomena due to the unchecked influx of illegal aliens.

    Health care is not a right. It is a service or commodity just like anything else we EARN the money to pay for. Calling it a right is akin to saying “slavery is OK.” Calling it a right means that you are able to force a person to become a doctor at his own expense, and then force him to provide medical service to you without compensation. That is slavery. If you say “of course he has a right to compensation,” then you are saying it’s OK to take money from me against my will to pay your medical costs. That’s robbery and theft. Rights are given from God, not from man. Having people in our government call something a “right” doesn’t make it so. A right does not come at the expense of another.

    So, to sum this up, helping the “less fortunate” is a good and admirable goal. But it is a goal best accomplished by allowing the citizens of the most charitable nation on earth to decide for themselves to help those people out. The government is at best inefficient at the task, and typically fails miserably.

    One last thing on this topic. Don’t confuse “lack of success” with being “unfortunate.” If you worked to EARN what you have, and you have more than the next person, you have no reason to feel guilty about that.

    (Plus you may remember that Southern Republicans—like John Tower—opposed the Civil Rights Act just as strongly as did most Southern Democrats—except the same Ralph Yarborough we both admire for his courage.)

    Just remember that it was republicans, even southern republicans that gave blacks the right to vote, and it was democrats that took that right away with things like “poll taxes.” It was democrats who founded such organizations as the KKK, and it is liberal/progressive/democrat policies that have encouraged the black community to largely sit around feeling like victims with their hands out to the democrats. When a black person makes something of him/herself, the democrats and the blacks who support them immediately turn on that person and call them “Uncle Tom,” or “a sellout to the black community.” What a bunch of crap. Bill Cosby is right. Unless people take responsibility for their own actions, their own family, and their own community, they will always be oppressed victims.

    (Unlike you I can not call myself a “Carter Democrat” because, although I wound up voting for him, as a Southern Catholic who had been told one two many times by “good ole Southern Baptists” that I was doomed to hell while living in a small Texas town in the 50s, I was worried about his Southern Baptist background.

    I am a Christian who associates with Southern Baptists, as long as they preach and teach what is in the Bible. I have seen many Southern Baptist churches (and those of many denominations) that do not. Just because someone is a “good ole Southern Baptist” doesn’t make them good or bad. I’m registered republican, but am really a conservative. Barack Obama sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 some years. Does that make him a Christian? No. Just because Jeremiah Wright calls himself a preacher, does make his church a Christian church? No. As a “former” muslim who preaches a radical black-nationalist message which is not supported by the Bible, many would say “definitely not.” In Jimmy Carter’s case, I would call him a liberal misguided Southern Baptist who is basically just an idiot.

    However, I do believe that, if our system is to continue, we must attempt to help every American have an “equal opportunity” to succeed…..Unfortunately, I believe—as you probably do not—that that means that Government must take steps to “level the playing field”.

    We are guaranteed “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We are not guaranteed anything beyond that. We are not guaranteed a job, a house, a specific level of income, or any such thing. We are only guaranteed the right to pursue them to the best of OUR abilities, not to pursue them on the backs of someone else. Our nation was founded on getting everyone to the starting line of the race. It doesn’t guarantee how anyone will run the race, or who will win it. But to have a chance of winning, you must run. Barack Obama and liberals are trying to distort this by picking winners and losers in life. They are choosing which companies succeed or fail. They are choosing which people succeed or fail. This is un-American. We can’t ALL win the race, and the prize can’t be the same either. When you allow those who can achieve more to do so, they are more able to help those who can’t. When you don’t allow them to succeed, and make them pull the wagon full of those who can’t or won’t run as fast, NO ONE gets to the finish line because the achievers see no benefit to excelling because the fruits of their labors are redistributed to those who did not earn them and do not deserve them. The “playing field” as you call it, is actually level. It’s the same for everyone. It’s just that some people are more able to navigate it. That’s just the way things are. Your and others attempts to “level the playing field” are in reality attempts to force an equal outcome. That’s communism. Let’s say your IQ is off the charts on the smart end. You go to school with a bunch of people who can barely write their own name. If we level the playing field in the classroom to bring these people up from failing grades, you receive a middle of the road grade instead of the “A” that you earned. Or, the teachers dumb down the level of instruction to the lowest common denominator where everyone gets an “A.” You are bored and learn nothing, while the rest learned little because they were unwilling or unable. Everyone finished the same, but what has that gained society? We graduate a bunch of people with high self esteem until they can’t get a job because they don’t know how to make change. Our society suffers for such misguided efforts to “level the playing field.”

    I am also aware of the fact that all kinds of groups have “lobbyists” and that all kinds of groups, not just conservatives try to use government to advance their ends. However, unlike you I do not automatically label this bad…Instead they are part and parcel of our form of government and,…

    A politician’s job is supposed to be to represent the people who elected them. Their job has morphed into getting re-elected. Politicians spend nearly 2/3 of each business day dealing with matters related to fund raising for their re-election campaign. Much of that has to do with lobbyists. I know several politicians, and the lobbyists who lobby them. It is a corrupt game. Just calling it “part and parcel of our form of government” is exactly the same justification that Nixon could have used (and probably did) for defending the break in to a rival political headquarters to gain a political advantage. Where do we draw the line? The politicians are beholden to the special interest groups and the money they donate to their campaign rather than to the constituents who elected them. This is where I throw out the hand grenade of term limits. Many will say that we have term limits called “elections.” I would say that this would be true if we still had a nation of CITIZENS. A citizen educates him/herself on the issues, on the candidates, on our system of government, on the constitution on which it is based, and casts a responsible vote. Today we have an increasing number of people who know nothing about the things listed above, and cast votes base on misinformation that they willingly believe because they have allowed themselves to be led astray largely due to their own laziness and ignorance. This is also where we see the rapid rise of the zero-liability voter who pays little or no tax yet has a voice in how TAXPAYERS dollars are spent, usually to give the zero-liability voter more “free” stuff. It’s a vicious political cycle centered around the acquisition and maintenance of POWER. The founding fathers never intended the words “career” and “politician” to be uttered in the same sentence. Elected officials were intended to REPRESENT their constituents for a season while the issues were fresh on their minds. Then they were to return home and go back to whatever life they had, or make a new one if they so chose. They were never intended to make a fat life in Washington at our expense.

    “be very, very careful when you have a group that wants to be regulated.”

    I’ve heard it said that “you don’t f*** with a man that sleeps next to a woman he never screws. They’re unpredictable.” The only groups I see that want regulation are the ones who are unable or unwilling to achieve success on their own. Refer back to the “level playing field discussion above.

    Instead it makes me a realist.

    I’ve also heard it said “No, I’m not a pessimist. At some point the world sh**s on everybody. Pretending it ain’t sh** makes you an idiot, not an optimist.” If you view your glass as half empty, you are called a pessimist. If you view your glass as half full, you are called an optimist. If it doesn’t matter to you whether you say your glass is half empty or half full, but you know you must guard against some idiot coming along and spilling it or drinking it, THEN you are a REALIST. That would be me.

    Brian, thanks again for engaging in the debate and being willing to share WHY you believe what you believe. If we can’t defend our positions, why do we have them in the first place? I look forward to debating other issues with you in the future.
    V/R,
    Gadget.

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